This article explores two sets of convergences: one between skeptical and commonsense philosophies in the eighteenth century, and the other between poststructuralist and eighteenth-century philosophies. It argues that all of these forms of reasoning share an interest in the paper on which they are printed. Although they use the case in point of paper quite differently, James Beattie, David Hume, Paul de Man, and Jacques Derrida all end up in terrain on which paper shows the connection of high theory to the common sense of material cultural studies. They all demonstrate, in other words, how paper and the ink it holds offer evidence of an irrefutable reality even as their example introduces an inevitable slipperiness to the field of example.

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